Book Review: Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh.


There’s something about Portia MacIntosh that makes me feel like, over the years of reading her books, that I’m her best friend! It could be the fact that her stories stay with me and while I’m reading them I always feel like I have made a kick ass new friend, or that she never lets me down with her books, or that her writing always speaks to me, or the fact that she always has me in stitches, I can’t quite pinpoint it exactly, so let’s just say it’s a combination of all these reasons and probably a couple more too.

Mangia: Carrot and Sambuca Cake.

Do you remember those moments in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' where the Dad likes to point out that the Greeks invented everything? Well, when it comes to food, Grandad liked to point out on the daily how the Italians do it best and can make it better. He would shrug in the cutest way and say 'What can I do?' like he didn't make the rules, like it was just simply a fact that nothing quite compares to Italian food.

Changing the channel.

"I'm here in this moment to tell you that you are beautiful and that you have everything you need." - Russell Brand.

Book Review: Second Chance at The Ranch by Maxine Morrey.

Be prepared for me to gush, gush and gush some more when it comes to 'Second Chance at The Ranch' by the wonderful Maxine Morrey. But first let me introduce you to this beautiful read with the blurb and a little more info from Amazon:

Mangia: Pancakes with Mascarpone Frosting.

Looking at the picture, our pancakes probably seem more like Crepes, but this had always been what we considered a pancake until we went to America. Every pancake day, every time Grandad made Cannelloni, every time Grandad just felt like making them, this is what we had.

Why I Wake Up Early.


"The time just before dawn contains the most energy of all hours of the day. This has helped me become an early riser and an early doer." 

Terri Guillemets 

Book Review: The Warrior's Bride Prize by Jenni Fletcher.


Every time I pick up a book by Jenni Fletcher and I read her short biography at the front, I feel incredibly inspired. It makes me happy that no matter how many jobs Jenni had before, or how many years she got distracted by reading instead of writing, the fact that she eventually did put her stories down on paper, means you should never give up on your dreams. There is no time frame on achieving them, you just have to do it. Do you know why I can tell you that with 100% certainty? Because Jenni Fletcher was meant to write books. One way or another she had to get pen to paper, because we’re all better off for it. Honestly, my other thought is usually “Why did it take her so long, she’s so flipping good?!” ;p 

Mangia: Pastina.


We're coming at you this foodie Friday with one of our absolute 'go to' recipes. A recipe taken from 'How to Bake a New Beginning' and also our family cookbook. Forget packet baby food! From the moment, and probably before, we were able to eat solid food, Pastina has been on our menu, courtesy of our Nanna and Grandad of course. These days you can keep your chicken soup for when your feeling poorly or your mac and cheese in times of comfort. For us it's all about Pastina. 

Inside the mind of a writer.

I absolutely adore tucking myself away in my office or curling up on my couch to write the day away. It's my favourite thing. Often times when i'm writing the thoughts that go through my head amuse me and on occasion they drive me mad.

Book Review: A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley.

It's been a while since I had a review for you. I feel like I am forever saying that, but I promise I am working my way through my TBR pile and have lots of amazing books to share with you in the coming weeks. This week it's all about 'A Christmas Date.' Who else is starting to get just a little bit excited about Christmas?

Mangia: Polpette. (Meatballs)


One of the very first things we made entirely on our own, in our own kitchens, 4000 miles away from home, at twenty one years of age, was Meatballs. Yes, our Grandad trained us well.

Meet the men from 'How To Bake A New Beginning.'

My debut novel; 'How to Bake a New Beginning' is officially out and it still feels very surreal. I've had plenty of nerves fluttering around in my stomach for the past few months hoping you all will enjoy it. But there has been a ton of excitement to as I anticipate each reader meeting the characters I love. Over the past few years I have definitely built a little bond with Amanda, Sabrina and Louisa and I don't think a day has gone by where I don't think of something they are up to or what they should be doing next; hence my need for always carrying a notebook around, stay tuned. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting their worlds and feel a huge sense of contentment when I disappear in them.

Book Review: Coming Home To Maple Cottage by Holly Martin.


There is something very reassuring about picking up a book by Holly Martin. Anything and everything could be happening in the real world, but you know that when you dive into her stories, that you will be able to escape to a beautiful Island, Town or Village, catch up with old friends and melt in the arms of a dashing farmer, art sculpture or firework technician! Holly brings to life small town charm and the magic of falling in love effortlessly.

Book Review: The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley.

Release Date: 4th October 2018
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @catherinetinley

Today is my day on Catherine Tinely's blog tour and I couldn't be more excited. If I had to use one word to describe The Makings of A Lady, I would say Adventure! It's a one wild adventure from start to finish - I was constantly on the edge of my seat! 

Book Review: Dear Mr Popstar

Release date: 20th September 2018
Publisher: Unbound
Twitter: @derekphilpott

I think the concept behind 'Dear Mr Pop Star' is so much fun that I was very excited to delve into it. I love learning about meanings behind songs and often think how amazing it would be to sit with artists and discuss what inspired them. Of course, this book is done with a more humorous twist. I pinched the blurb from Amazon to explain the idea behind this book a little better:

Book Review: My Wanderlust Bites the Dust by Eliza Watson.

Release Date: 4th June 2018
Publisher: Elizabeth Watson
Twitter: @elizasbooks

The Travel Mishaps of Caity Shaw series, is a gift that keeps on giving. It's everything you could possibly want for a book series, the best part being: it isn't over yet! :) Isn't that every book lovers dream? Finding a series you love and getting to the end, only to find there will be more adventures with your new found best friends soon? 

Book Review: The Summer House of Happiness by Daisy James

Release date: 31st May 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks

Daisy James always makes me smile. I adore her books and The Summer House of Happiness is another one of hers that I can tick off my list and place in the heartwarming, hug a book pile. 

A blessing not a curse.

We did a post not too long ago for the #dolcevitabloggers about Italian culture shock. There wasn't much about Italy that shocked us with us having grown up with Italian Grandparents, so instead we wrote about traits we feel we possess because of our Italian blood. We forgot a very important one, which I wanted to talk about today...

EBook Publication Day Party: Thank you!!

This past Saturday evening felt like Christmas Eve for me. After an evening of toasting marshmallows and watching movies with my sisters, I got in to bed feeling somewhat in wonder of what Sunday would bring.

Book Review: How To Bake A New Beginning by Lucy Knott.

                           Release Date: 9th September (Kindle)
Publisher: HQ Digital
                                Twitter: @lucycknott @theblossomtwins

I've probably said this next sentence over 50 times in the last few months and I know I've got plenty more left in me: I am so, so incredibly proud of my sister. Can you believe I'm actually sat here writing a book review for her DEBUT BOOK? Actually I can believe it! 

Dolce Vita Bloggers: Favourite Recipe.

This months Dolce Vita Bloggers topic is: Favourite recipe. Our answer to that is: that's impossible! Every time someone asks us what our favourite food is we always have to answer with Nanna and Grandad's cooking. Just saying Italian food isn't good enough, because if you're not in Italy or your Grandparents house, it's never really the same.

"How to Bake a New Beginning" Sabrina's Playlist!

I can't believe it's only a week away until my debut novel 'How to Bake a New Beginning' is published. I'm not sure its actually sunk in yet, it doesn't quite feel real, but I am a mixture of bubbly nerves and excitement none the less.

5 ideas for self care!

It's very much been a month of having to get my life in order and really learn to take care of myself. Today I thought I would share some of the ways in which I have been paying more attention to my Self Care. I hope that if any of you are going through some difficult times that it will help you too!

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato Croquettes.


A good few weeks ago now, I was sat curled up on the couch at Nanna and Grandad's, asking Nanna about a few recipes I wanted to try out. It was wonderful listening to her animatedly telling me what to write down in my little notepad. I couldn't write fast enough! One of the recipes she told me was for Croquette Potatoes. She was so excited, telling me how delicious they are and that she hadn't had them in a long time. When I remembered the few occasions I had, had them I couldn't have agreed more. I left her house vowing to make them especially for her as a surprise and even though it's taken me a few weeks, I finally did it! 

*UPDATED! Book Review: The Mysterious Lord Millcroft by Virginia Heath. PLUS A Giveaway!


Release Date: 23rd August 2018
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @VirginiaHeath_

Happy Publication Day Virginia Heath!! 

So, today is publication day for The Mysterious Lord Millcroft by Virginia Heath. I'm super excited about it and cannot wait to share my review. However, I'm going to be honest and tell you that I'm only half way through the book right now. I've been a pretty bad bookworm lately. There's been a lot going on and I just haven't found the time to read as much as I want to. That being said, the good news is, I am absolutely enthralled in this book. 

Book Review: Six Weeks With A Lord by Eve Pendle.

Release Date: 25th June 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Twitter: @evependle

Firstly, I must apologize to Eve Pendle, because I've been a little behind with reading this book that she so kindly sent me. I finally got round to it though and it was worth the wait! I couldn't put it down! 

25 Things We Love About Our 'Little' Sister.

Today marks the day that we should really stop calling our 'Little' sister our 'Little' sister! Today she turns twenty-five...twenty-five!!!! Where has the time gone?? In reality though she's always going to be our 'Little' sister, so we can't promise anything!

'Everything you see I owe to Spaghetti.'

Last night I was having one of those nights where I was missing my Grandad and on a little path of getting down about it and staring at the wall feeling sad for the evening. Then before I knew it Grandad's face appeared in my head, I was getting out his pasta maker from the cupboard and pulling out the ingredients I needed to whip up a fresh batch of pasta.

Author Interview: Vivian Conroy.

We absolutely love getting to interview authors here on our blog. It's always so much fun delving into the minds of the wonderful people behind some of our favourite reads. Last year I stepped out of my usual book genre and into the world of Murder Mystery, thanks to Vivian Conroy, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. 'Death plays a Part' was an awesome read and I currently have the second installment, 'Rubies in the Roses' on my Kindle ready to dive into next. (I'm currently just being a slow coach with my TBR pile) With Vivian due to have her tenth book 'The Butterfly Conspiracy' published on Friday, we thought we would celebrate by getting to know Vivian in this little Q and A! Enjoy!

Dolce Vita Bloggers: Culture Shock.


Having Grandparents who are Italian, meant that we visited Italy for the first time when we were four. All of our Mum's side of the family still live there, so a few of our holidays growing up were spent visiting them all. We saw Sorrento, Positano, Praiano, Vettica, Padova and Venice all before we were 15. Pretty amazing right?

'How to Bake a New Beginning' Travel Guide!

I had so much fun introducing you to my leading ladies from 'How to Bake a New Beginning' last week in my look book. So, today I thought I would bring you into Amanda, Sabrina and Louisa's worlds a little more by taking a look at the destinations you will be travelling to upon publication day.

Book Review: Beguiled By The Forbidden Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes.

Release Date: 31st May 2018
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @elisabethhobbes

My head has been a little all over the place lately and I've found myself not being able to concentrate on books. I've been unable to focus or give them my full attention, which has left me feeling disconnected from the story in front of me. Then I picked up 'Beguiled By The Forbidden Knight' by Elisabeth Hobbes and BAM! my happy little bookworm head returned!!! 

Nonno knows best!

It's not often that words fail us, in fact it's pretty much never, but trying to put into words the thoughts going on in our minds when sitting down to write this post, actually had us a little stumped. This coming Sunday will be one year since our Grandad passed, and honestly, we can't quite believe we have had a whole year without him. To hear his voice and cuddle him and talk to him about all that has gone on this past year would be rather wonderful right now.

'How to Bake a New Beginning': Look book!

I can't believe we're only a month and a little bit away from publication day for my first book 'How to Bake a New Beginning'. I think I keep using the same words to describe how I am feeling; incredibly excited and extremely nervous. I'm really hoping you all love it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Book Review: The Single Mums' Picnic Club by Jennifer Joyce.


Release Date: 8th June 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @writer_jenn

Get your picnic baskets, cooler bags and lunchboxes out from the back of the cupboard because you're going to want them after reading Jennifer Joyce's latest book! It's packed (get it) with everything you could possibly want for a summer read; wonderful friendships, dreamy romance, cute kids and delicious food! 

Book Review: Lord Stanton's Last Mistress by Lara Temple.

Release Date: 31st May 2018
Publisher: Mills and Boon
Twitter: @laratemple1

Sometimes you just need a good historical romance story to change it up a little and delve into another era. I'm lucky because whenever I feel like this is what I need, I have an array of fantastic historical romance authors to choose from, Lara Temple being one of them. Lara knows just how to hook me in and keep me entertained and I love her for it.

Blog at the Beach: Social Media Tips.


On Saturday we went to our first blogger event here in the U.K. As always we were a little anxious about getting there, meeting new people and not knowing what to expect, but we needn't have been worried at all (isn't that usually the case?) as Ice Lolly Holiday threw a great party and we met some wonderful people. We had a lovely day...and ate wood fired pizza! #Winning! 

Dolce Vita Bloggers: Our Dolce Vita.

When thinking about this month's #DolceVitaBloggers topic, we knew that the majority of things that we were going to say would be very simple and straightforward, after all, it truly is the little things in life that mean the most. Therefore in the hopes of doing something a little different, we had the marvelous idea of sharing Our Sweet Life with you in shopping list form. All of the things on it are the ingredients that make our life sweet! 

Book Review: How (Not) to Date A Prince by Zoe May.


Release Date: 4th May 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Twitter: @zoe_writes

If you read our interview with Zoe May a week ago, you'll know that I was super excited to get my nose stuck into her second book; How (Not) To Date A Prince. I saved it to read on the plane to Italy and am so glad I did, because it made time fly by!!

72 Hours in Pisa.

Earlier this week, we took a trip to Pisa, Italy. It was our first holiday to Italy that didn't involve going to see family and/or having someone with us who could speak the language, thus meaning I was slightly nervous. Silly right, considering it's a place frequented by tourists and most people there speak English? I don't know, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself regarding the fact that with Nanna and Grandad being Italian, I feel like I should be fluent! I'll get there...piano, piano! (Slowly, slowly)

An Interview with Author Zoe May.

I've only read Zoe May's debut novel, Perfect Match, and I already know she is going to be a regular feature on my kindle/bookshelf. Her second book, How (not) to Date A Prince, is currently waiting to be read and I cannot wait. It's going to be my plane read this weekend. Zoe's writing reminds me very much of Portia MacIntosh and we all know how I feel about her! :) She is definitely an author to keep an eye on and add to your list! I hope you enjoy finding out more about Zoe in today's interview! 

Mum's Chopped Salad.

Our Mum started making this dish quite a few years ago now, probably when we moved house and started having Nanna and Grandad round for Christmas and special occasion meals. It's really very simple and yet it goes down a treat every time. Everyone looks forward to it and we are left with a table of empty plates...until the next course is served!  

Book Review: One Summer In Italy by Sue Moorcroft.


Release Date: 17th May 2018
Publisher: Avon
Twitter: @suemoorcroft

I just can't help myself; when I see a book related to Italy I have to read it! I saw this one on Netgalley and it sounded right up my street, so thank you to the lovely people at Avon for letting me add it to my list!

Happy Father's Day Q & A.

We have shared many a blog post on our amazing Dad, from trips we have taken together, things he has taught us over the years and of course, his passing down his love of the classics on to us. Today, in honor of Father's Day, we thought we'd let you hear from the man himself, with a little Q & A!

How to live the life of your dreams.

Okay, so I'm not about to sit here and give you step by step instructions on how you can live the life of your dreams - I'll leave that to my brother in law, who wrote an awesome book about it. - but  I woke up at five this morning and felt inspired to write, and these were the first words that popped into my head.

An Interview with Author Virginia Heath.


I can't quite believe it's taken me so long to get Virginia Heath on our blog! Her stories have me giggling to myself, her Wild Warriners make me swoon and I absolutely adore seeing her books on my bookshelf. I am delighted that I discovered her, because my world is a much better place for it! I hope you enjoy this interview and please do pick up one of her books, they are rather wonderful! 

Book Review: No Way Back by Kelly Florentia.


Release Date: 21st September 2017
Publisher: Urbane Publications
Twitter: @kellyflorentia

I wanted to start by saying Thank you to Kelly Florentia for getting in touch with me about 'No Way Back.' Just by looking at the cover, I wouldn't necessarily have chosen this book to read; it looks a little more mysterious than i'm used to, but you know what they say - never judge a book by it's cover, so i'm very grateful to Kelly for giving me a chance to read it.

Dolce Vita Bloggers: Italy's hidden gem!

We can't boast to having visited many places in Italy, but we are working on that. However, we can boast that having family from Praiano, along the famous Amalfi Coast, often means we don't need to visit anywhere else! With it's breathtaking views, cute cobbled streets, quaint villages and, of course, our family, Praiano has everything we could possible want/need.

Book review: Looking for Trouble by Lara Ward Cosio!

Release date: 22nd May 2018
Publisher: Rogue Publications
Twitter: @laracosio

I've said it before and I'll quite happily shout from the roof tops, do a book happy dance and say it again... I LOVE Lara Ward Cosio's Rouge Series! It's bloody brilliant!!!! I had to get that extra bit British then to really enforce my flipping love for this awesome collection.

Book Review: Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli by Portia MacIntosh.


Release Date: 18th May 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital UK
Twitter: @portiamacintosh 

You may notice that this book is currently sat in our Book of the Month spot, so you can probably gather that there's a pretty good chance that I enjoyed it...but you would be wrong...I didn't enjoy it...